Without You – Cat vs. Pirates vs. Shinobi


Akuro, Hiromu, Ryuunosuke, Kuoroke

Date: Unknown (log received June 20, 2012)


A pair of Konoha shinobi and a Sunagakure Jounin Councilman happen upon a rather strange, cat-looking shinobi being verbally abused by some pirates and taking matters into his own hands, which turns into a fight and then a chase.

Poster's note: Profanity filtered in obvious places.

"Without You – Cat vs. Pirates vs. Shinobi"

A dock in the Land of Wind

After taking down the ship where Kanrai's body was found, Akuro has found himself sitting at a dock on the south side of the Land of Wind on the outside section of a small restaurant/pub. He currently sits in silence, sipping on a glass of tea, wearing a mask that covers all of his face except his mouth. The odd shinobi seems to be drowning out all the sounds around him at the moment. Of course, that could be due to the fact that a group of several pirates is yelling at him from the table across from him.
“*hick* Hey, *hick* what's with those clothes?”
“Hey, pussy, we're talking to you!”
“*hick* I thought cats were supposed to have good hearing.”
The group seems to be drinking quite heavily, getting more riled up by the moment. It's not often they see land, and seeing a character as strange-looking as Akuro only seems to make the situation worse, to the point people are actually watching to see what happens.

"Act like you have nothing of value and others should interpret it as such. We've got nothing to lose." Ryuu comments to Hiromu. The young Senju however was alert in the casual way. Eyes scanning left and right seeming to take in the sights, or what could pass as 'sights'. He had been to this area so many times the sickly thick atmosphere no longer unnerved him. He yawns as they come closer to the docks. A bit of a commotion can be heard but nothing great enough to attract Ryuunosuke's undivided attention. "A rowdy place. Well places like these keep us busy right?" he says to Hiromu smiling softly.

While his buddies continue to call out slurred insults, one of the pirates stands up and staggers over to Akuro's table. "H-*hic*hey… We're *hic* talking to you…" He places one hand on the table to hold himself up as he leans over and starts to place the other on the odd shinobi's head. "Why don't you *hic*… come with us? We could use a pet on the ship to-OW! Furry Flatland! You little hairball!"
The sudden change from taunting to yelling becomes quite obvious if one looks at the man's hand on the table-there is now a kunai stabbed through his hand and the table itself to hold him in place. "Let's play a little game," Akuro growls out as he stabs a senbon into the table on the side closest to the other pirates. "You guys have to get past a series of magic tricks. If you win, one of you might live. If I win, I inherit that pretty ship you parked at the dock for me." He leans back in his chair a bit as another pirate stands and walks over to help his buddy. "Deal? Good!" Just as the man reaches the table, Akuro leaps up and flips over to kick him in the back of the head, causing his face to crash down toward the table and the senbon to go straight through the man's eye to his brain, obviously killing him as he falls to the floor. Landing gracefully in a crouched position, Akuro chuckles a bit and says, "One down."

Across the street, Kuoroke observed the exchange, sipping from a cup of hot tea. Although his drink was not, by the opinion of the locals, what one would call a 'man's drink', he was considerably less badgered by the rowdy residents of this city, for several reasons. For one, he was a recognizable figure of the local ninja village, doubly so with his forehead protector on his head. Secondly, there was the purely visceral difference in picking on someone of Akuro's size and picking on a scarred, tall, clearly muscled adult man. And lastly, although definitely not the least important, there was the fact that Akuro had gotten into trouble first, and was now drawing attention away from Kuoroke - including Kuoroke's own.

Attention was drawn towards what quickly looked to be a fight breaking out. Hiromu would study the surrounding pirates, the target of their ire and the surrounding area. A small hesitation would cause Hiromu to pause apon seeing Kuoroke.. they seem to be meeting a lot here lately. He'd give a small shake of his head and pitch that rhaspy hollow voice to echo low towards Ryuu, "There's a councilman nearby from Suna.. This could potentially be a bad area to be in very quickly. Let's try to hurry and get this dropped off before it goes out of hand.. vaulable or not, we don't want to be here if that guy has any skills.. hai?"
Kuoroke's fingers met on the table, slipped past each other, and continued slipping until they reached the opposing elbow, where they firmly grabbed his sleeves, and pulled. One motion, and his cloak, and the attached gloves, were now limply hanging over his shoulders, no longer covering him. For now, however, the murder did not seem to bother the Councilman too much, he watched with little care for the dead pirate's well-being as the boy broke his head.
"Poor guy." Ryuunosuke commented watching Atsuro do away with the pirate in a ghastly display of agility and athleticism. Ryuunosuke didn't want those problems to become his own. The young Senju silently agreed Hiromu. However Kuoroke's presence did worry him. "A Sunagakure Councilman? Why is someone like that here?" he asks as he and Hiro make their way. Kuoroke's actions caught Ryuunosuke's eye. "….let's hurry along shall we?" he speaks up getting the feeling that things could turn ugly very fast.
Though he notices Kuoroke's actions, he is yet uninterrupted in teaching these pirates a final lesson. As the pirate pinned to the table screams, the odd shinobi rolls his eyes. "Oh, please, shut up," he says before grabbing a kunai and stabbing it through the back of his neck to go straight through and finish him off. Just as he does, the remaining four pirates charge him. "Whoo, here we go!" he calls out as he tosses what appears to be a playing card with a burning fuse to their feet, creating a small explosion of fire to distract them as he leaps up onto the roof of the restaurant and crouches down, gathering chakra and preparing for the fight.

Hiromu ducked slightly from the explosion. Frowning behind the mask, eyes would narrow as Hiromu would watch Akuro jump up to the roof top. A silent curse, he would focus himself, gathering that chakra. A nod was given towards Ryuu as he said to hurry up and so Hiromu would pick up the pace, heading for their destination with that chest. They really needed to get this delivered and out of here.

Kuoroke gathers some chakra, himself, getting up slowly and making his way forward, determined to be in the first ranks of the gawking mob starting to gather. He didn't much mind some water-bandit dying, but he couldn't entirely let the kid get away with this. He would first have to gauge the level of power first, though. After the explosion, he looked around quickly, trying to notice where Akuro had run off to, which was when he noticed Hiromu and his partner. For now, however, he did not aknowledge their presence, preferring to focus on the violent shinobi.
"This guy. Even scum like that doesn't deserve what he's doing to them." Ryuunosuke snapped. He stopped despite his previous decision Ryuunosuke couldn't play witness to Atsuro's slaughter for too much longer. "Hiromu-senpai we have a situation. I've been compromised. I'm a danger to the mission." Ryuunosuke lets Hiromu have the package and makes his way for Atsuro and victimized pirates. "You'll have to finish the mission on your own. I'll take full responsibility." He forms a few hand seals and gathers chakra. "Right after I teach this guy a lesson." He glares Atsuro's way. His anger getting the beter of him Ryuunosuke calls out. "Hey weirdo! You need to learn some restraint!"

As the pirates look around for him, Akuro whistles to get their attention. When the seemingly random boy calls out, the odd shinobi looks over to him and waves a hand dismissively. "Hey, kiddo! You need to mind your own business!" he retorts mockingly before turning and dart off down the dock. He moves quickly, though he keeps his pace slow enough to not completely outrun his pursuers. "Come on, losers!"
Curses silently behind that mask again. Watching as Ryuu headed off after Akuro. Hiromu glanced off to the right, watching Kuoroke to see what the councilman did, a small shake of his head was given and he'd take off as well. Package settled on his back, he'd blur up to the roof top before following behind them. He was slower than either Akuro or Ryuu, however Hiromu was not going to let a genin on his team get hurt if he could help it. Studying his surroundings, he'd grimance. This was not a good area to have this fight in. They're by the water, that makes it harder for him to manipulate the area. Hopefully he might be able to talk sense into Ryuu and leave before they get in too much trouble.

Kuoroke hesitates for just a split second when the boy takes off, then moves, himself. As he lifts one foot, a few loops leave its top, filled with semi-transparent membranes of a luminous, flowing material, and fold over to the soles of his feet. He pushes off, and lifts the other foot, which undergoes the same change. As the Councilman's speed picks up, he reaches over his shoulder and grabs his cloak, so that it, unattached to his body by anything but his cowl, would not stay behind.

"You've clawed me off. So this is kinda my business now." Ryuu remarks making his way closer. He looks to each of the pirates. "Unless you guys want to lose your ships and your pathetic lives I suggest you sober up and get the fang out of here." Ryuunosuke glares at Akuro. "You remind me of the same sadistic self serving garbage that thrived on war and bloodshed. Is all this really necessary?"

"I clawed you off? Aw, I'm sorry," Akuro calls back to the boy as he continues running down the dock toward the pirates' ship. "Nothing is meaningful or necessary. It's all just a game. I simply chose to play the part of the game master rather than a player." A brief glance is given behind to notice he currently has two pursuers other than the pirates. Time to have a little fun. With the chase as his distraction, the odd shinobi attempts to create a Genjutsu Link with all of his pursuers so that the mind games can begin as ducks his head for a moment. When he looks back up, the mask he wears is now one resembling a giant green cat's eye.
Kuoroke keeps up his pursuit, unaware of the link being forged with his mind. He stays at a respectable distance, simply watching the situation, without getting involved.
Hiromu would continue following after the rest of them. Eyes narrowed behind his own mask, the one now on the clown's face seems to be something important. Musing about that, he would keep an eye out on the other two, studying what the one in the mask did. Finally matching Ryuu's pace, his rhaspy voice would reach out to the genin, "Ryuu, this is not our fight. This is not something we should get involved in and you should stop. Now." A small shake of his head given. "We need to finish this mission, now, hai?"
"That's a load of fleas. If you want to play your games then fine. Leave everyone else out of it." he yells chasing after Akuro. Ryuunosuke didn't notice a link of any kind but the mask did spark a curiosity. "Eh…what's with the mask?" he thinks as he moves along the docks. His train of thought is interrupted by Hiromu. Ryuunosuke blinks "I know that. But he's deranged clearly. I can't just sit back and watch him do away with lives so callously. That era is over and I won't sit by and watch it start all over again!" he growls. "Just finish the mission. You're wasting your time with me." he advises Hiromu. Ryuunosuke knew he was being reckless which is why he urged Hiromu to continue the mission. He didn't want him get hurt because of his recklessness.

"Listen to your sempai, baka!" Akuro calls out to Ryuunosuke as he continues running from the group. "You don't want to follow where I'm going." As he speeds up a bit, to those trapped in his link and affected, the water around the dock suddenly becomes lava while the sky grows black. A million screams ring out as skeletons and scorching bodies crawl and scratch their way up onto the dock, trying to get out of their Hell. This forms an illusionary blockade of dead souls between them and Akuro, perhaps buying him some time to run, at least from the pirates as they stop cold in their tracks and try to get away from the tortured souls.

There was a small hiss of frustration, before Hiromu would try again. "Ryuu-san, you are part of the mission. I can not complete it without you. I will not allow a genin who is under my command on a mission run off on his own." He'd eye Akuro yelling back at them, a small shake of his head given as well, Hiromu was oblivious to that genjutsu. His rhaspy voice would echo towards Ryuu again, "If you really want to take him down, then we get a mission from Konoha to do it, then do it. This is not something you just charge into, this is not the mission. If *I* have to stop you, to make you finish the mission, I will. We do the mission put before us then get back to the village. Hai?"

Once the world starts rapidly chaning around him, Kuoroke slides to a sudden, rapid stop. For a moment, Kuoroke hesitates on what to do, then he notices the screaming pirates and becomes sharply aware of the large group of spectators he knows are behind him. He decides it'd be best if he draws the ghosts' attention. So, he charges onward with redoubled zeal, ramming his shoulder through the wall of spirits with an enraged roar, trying to draw their ire at himself.

Ryuunosuke is stopped by Hiromu's declaration. He looks back to his commanding officer and understands where he's coming from. Ryuunosuke looks back to Akuro and growls. "But…it'll be too late." He says softly. He begins to turn away "I'm sorry Hiro-" until a sudden change of scenery takes him completely by shock. The black sky, the hellish setting, all of it appeared form nowhere. "This can't be happening…." Ryuunosuke says softly. But his eyes betray his words as does his body. The hellish scene is enough to take its toll on Ryuunosuke no matter how many times he told himself it wasn't real. He couldn't advance forward. He drifted back and ways from the clawing hands falling back. 'It's not real.' He repeatedly told himself but to no avail. Even if it wasn't real, the fear was.

While he is a bit disappointed he may not get to kill the rest of the pirates immediately, Akuro is sure their chasing him will make things a bit more interesting. As he approaches the pirate ship, the number of creatures coming up from the lava seems to double around the pirates and shinobi. Their screams seem to grow to a deafening pitch, and they begin to grab and try to pull themselves up on Kuoroke, Ryuunosuke, and the pirates. All the while, Akuro is prepping the ship, cloaked by growing blackness as thick smoke rises up from the lava, preparing to leave his pursuers behind.
Hiromu would raise a brow within that mask. A small shake of his head given, he'd approach Ryuu then, obviously oblivious to whatever has him fear feeling that fear. Lightly, Hiromu's hand would rest on Ryuu's shoulder, leaning in to try and catch and focus Ryuu's attention. Hiromu's voice would be softer, a low bass that was pitched to barely be heard by Ryuu alone. "I know you want justice. I understand that. He is not exactly hiding, we can get a mission to capture him. We need to go. Now. Come with me, ignore whatever you are seeing and we will complete our mission. Hai?" Hiromu didn't exactly want to hurt Ryuu, it seemed the kid was willing to listen. It was just a matter of getting through to him.

Kuoroke continues moving, ripping himself free of the ghosts. The increase of the creatures in his immediate proximity gives him more than a little reason to be confident: it seems he did take the focus off the civilians, who seem to be… oddly calm about all of this, considering. A dark doubt crawls into Kuoroke's mind. After freeing himself, the Kuroki continues moving. Instead of getting -on- the boat, however, he rams head-first into it. The ringing in his head seems to shake the ghosts and make them melt away into thin air.

"Hehe ignore it?" The young genin comments looking on to the hellish sea of souls before him. Their agony and pain seemed so real but he knew that this was just an illusion, a trick of the mind. Still he couldn't free himself from the horrifying visuals. There's only one thing he does know that is true in all of this however. Hiromu's voice would serve as his guide back to reality. It was the one thing he could trust. As Ryuunosuke comes to a shaky stand he shuts his eyes to lessen the effects of the illusion. He could still hear the shrill of the tormented though. "A-Alright, let's get moving then." He agrees.

Hearing the slam against the ship, Akuro glances over to see Kuoroke hitting his head on the side. "That's a good way to get a concussion," he calls out as the ship actually drifts a bit due to the blow and already being untied from the dock. Grabbing a pair of card from his deck, he tosses it down at the dock by Kuoroke's feet, a fuse ignited on it. "Run, run, or you'll be well done!" he calls out as the card explodes into a massive amount of flame, intending to blast Kuoroke away, set the docks on fire, and give him an extra boost in sailing away as the sail drops and catches the wind. Hopefully this will be his ticket out of here. The pirates themselves have already passed out on the dock. With any luck, this leaves Kuoroke with two options, pursue Akuro and try to put out the fire and save the dock and the ships and people on and attached to it.

"Hai." Hiromu was back to that rhaspy hollow tone that echoed within the mask. Hand on Ryuu's shoulder, he would turn and walk away. A small duck, reflexive from the explosion behind him, Hiromu glanced back, then shook his head. Well, that would definitely put the nin who just caused a bunch of damage up there a bit in the bingo book. A small sigh given, mostly internally as it didn't even really get past the mask, Hiromu would lead Ryuu back into town, at least until Ryuu was freed from the genjutsu and could move under his own power. "Now.. focus Ryuu, hai? Where was the delivery point again?" He glanced sidelong towards the genin, trying to help him focus and ignore the chaos.
Kuoroke only now becomes aware that he's not being ignored by the nin, and has allowed him to get a far too great advantage already. When Akuro uses this upper hand to blow him up, Kuoroke makes an attempt to cover himself with the shields he can unwrap from his forearms, shredding his cloak's sleeves in the process. The pseudo-material surface of the shields bends under the wave of fire, and then the flames seem to bleed right through, first only a bit, then as the explosion comes to its apex, at full strength, leaving the Kuroki with no cloak but some brand new burn wounds.
Kuoroke produces four more traditional scrolls, which, as the explosion dies down and the bright burning of the dock takes over, are dropped around him. Suddenly, the amount of smoke the jetty generates increases, obscuring the figure of the Councilman from sight as he sinks into the water, and, with a few strokes of his arms, makes his way under the boat. There, holding on to its bottom, he gets to work: glowing an unpleasant, eerie green colour, a tattoo that most resembles a disproportionately long-fingered hand separates itself from his skin and touches the wood, dissolving it with just a touch. Kuoroke methodically dissolves the wood, not enough to make the ship sink immediately, but with the calculation that in a couple of hours of sailing, the damage done will worsen enough for the ship to be unsalvageable.

Ryuunosuke could hear explosions and fire in the distance. Once he's lead far enough the boy's vision returns unaltered and disillusioned. His head remains fuzzy as if someone just got through playing catch with it. It took him a bit before he was able to answer Hiromu's question. Ryuu shook his head "Uh sorry my head's a little messed up right now." he states. He recovered after a few more moments but unfortunately the mission wasn't the only thing on his mind. "Wait happened to the pirates and that maniac in the jacket?" Ryuunosuke asks. Savagery and bloodthirstiness of that individual reminded Ryuunosuke of one man in particular which was the main reason the boy couldn't simply dismiss it all and focus completely on the mission. "And the councilman from Sunagakure? Is he alright?"

Dismissing the increase in smoke, Akuro simply gets to attempting to sail the ship away. Unaware that acid is being applied to the ship below, he simply steers away from the docks and starts to head out to sea. "Stupid other ninja spoiling my fun. Oh well, I can always come back for those pirates. I'm sure they'll want some revenge, and then I can have some fun picking them off one at a time." He lets out a demented cackle as he sails away, at least thinking he's going alone.

Hiromu would shake his head slightly, glancing at Ryuu which was just a small shift of that mask. "We will worry about them later. From what I last saw, the pirates were out on the dock, the clown shinobi had the ship and Councilman Kuoroke had dived into the water.. missed and hit the ship." That small shift of shoulders was given. "I have seen the Councilman at work enough to know he will be fine in whatever plan he is hatching. The others are their business until we get a mission otherwise, hai?" A motion was given downt he road they were walking on. "We are almost to where we can drop this chest off. If you wish to swing by the docks on our way back to Konoha, we can do that, hai?"

Kuoroke ends his work in sabotaging the hull of the ship, dissolving lines that should only later develop into full-fledged holes, and then pushes off, swimming back along the ship. As he comes up behind it, he quickly sweeps some of the blood from one of his wounds and leaves three bloodied fingerprints on the rear end, fingerprints that, on close inspection, would seem a little but off, unnatural in their shape. With a powerful stroke, the Kuroki heaves himself onto the dock, steam rising from his body as the flames engulf it further, without hurting him as it harmlessly flows around him.

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